INDE 267: Planning and Writing a Research Proposal (Winter 2020)
Wednesdays Jan. 15, 22, 29, & Feb. 5 , 2020 at 3:30-5:30
Target Audience: Medical students (MD or MD/PhD) and PhD students in the Biosciences Program
Signup: Please register in Axess (1 unit).
Course Description: Students will gain fundamental skills in developing research questions and writing research proposals through a series of engaging workshops. Topics include developing a research idea, writing an executive summary, i.e. NIH-style 1-page specific aims; outlining the research plan to include rigor; and designing career development training plans. Students will develop early drafts of key proposal documents, such as the 1-page Specific Aims, and receive feedback from an instructor or Grant Coach. Medical students (MD or MD/PhD) and PhD students in the Biosciences Program may enroll in the course.
Students considering applying for a Med Scholars Fellowship grant, for a Berg Scholar position, or to split the curriculum for scholarly pursuits are strongly encouraged to enroll in this course.
Questions?: Please email Crystal Botham (Director, Grant Writing Academy); firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PJ Utz, MD, Associate Dean for Medical Student Research; Professor of Medicine (Immunology and Rheumatology)
- Daniel Bernstein, MD, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Scholarship; Alfred Woodley Salter and Mabel G. Salter Endowed Professor in Pediatrics
- Crystal Botham, PhD, Director of the Biosciences Grant Writing Academy; Director of Research Development in the Department of Pediatrics
Course Goals: The goal of this course is to conceive, write, and revise a proposal, with the ultimate goal of submitting it for Med Scholars or other funding. Towards that end, ancillary goals are:
- Show familiarity with the general structure of proposals
- Demonstrate understanding of review processes used to evaluate proposals
- Draft, revise, and edit proposal documents
- Develop effective communication skills, including improved clarity in scientific writing
- Design an individual training plan to obtain career goals
Jan. 15 @ 3:30-5:30 pm: Optimizing Your Research Ideas
Dr. Altman views grant writing as the ultimate scientific act because it creates a plan for your research. In an engaging conversation, he will reveal insights into how to optimize your research questions and develop a compelling research plan.
Speaker: Russ Altman, MD PhD is the Kenneth Fong Professor of Engineering at Stanford, and an advisor to the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. His research interests apply computing and informatics technologies to problems relevant to medicine. He hosts a Sirius XM (Insight Channel 121) show titled: The Future of Everything, which explores how technology, sciences, and medicine are shaping our lives.
Jan. 22 @ 3:30-5:30 pm: Writing the Executive Summary for your Research
Learn tips for grabbing your reviewers’ attention, leading them through the proposed research plan, and highlighting the impact of your work. Dr. Crystal Botham will describe four critical questions to answer on your short executive summary or NIH-style 1-page Specific Aims document.
Speaker: Dr. Crystal Botham’s passion for writing proposals was ignited as a graduate student. She is the inaugural director of Stanford’s Grant Writing Academy (founded in 2014). Crystal also provides strategic advice to faculty and others in the Department of Pediatrics to enable competitive funding applications and productive research programs.
Jan. 29 @ 3:30-5:30 pm: Crafting Individual Training Plans to Obtain your Career Goals
Crafting an individual training plan requires you to develop a framework to gain needed mentoring, skills, and/or experiences and builds on your prior training and/or experiences. At this session, you will come away with strategies to craft your own compelling training plan.
Speakers: Dr. Claudia Vasquez and Dr. Danielle Mathersul are Grant Coaches with the Grant Writing Academy and funded postdocs at Stanford. Together, they have developed a simple formula for crafting the framework for a successful training plan.
Feb. 5 @ 3:30-5:30 pm: Writing a Rigorous Research Plan
Gain strategies for writing a captivating research plan and identifying relevant areas for increasing rigor in your proposal. Also come away with tips for increasing rigor in your research.
Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Wilson is Grant Coach and currently a SPARK Fellow in the Department of Chemical and Systems Biology. She studies pathway models for identifying druggable targets.
Additional Requirement – Grant Writing Skills Development
Draft components of your proposal (Specific Aims, Research Plan, and/or Training Plan) and seek feedback to improve the logic and clarity of your ideas. Medical students (MD or MD/PhD) contact your Scholarly Concentration Director for additional information. Scholarly Concentration Directors will arrange one-on-one meetings and/or group meetings to implement the grant writing skills learned in the course. PhD students in the Biosciences Program will meet one-on-one with Crystal Botham or a Grant Writing Academy Grant Coach.
Grading: Pass/No Pass based on attendance and preparation. You must attend at least 3 course meetings for a Satisfactory grade.